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v. han·dled, han·dling, han·dles
1. To touch, lift, or hold with the hands: You should wash your hands before you handle food.
2. To operate with the hands; manipulate: can handle a jigsaw.
3. To deal with or have responsibility for; conduct: handles matters of corporate law.
4. To cope with or dispose of: handles problems efficiently.
a. To direct, execute, or dispose of: handle an investment.
b. To manage, administer to, or represent: handle a boxer.
6. To deal or trade in the purchase or sale of: a branch office that handles grain exports.
To act or function in a given way while in operation: a car that handles well in the snow.
1. A part that is designed to be held or operated with the hand: the handle of a suitcase; the handle of a faucet.
2. A means of understanding or control: has a handle on the situation.
a. Slang A person's name.
b. An alternate name or nickname, especially one chosen for self-identification on online forums or citizens band radio.
4. Games The total amount of money bet on an event or over a set period of time.
handle (oneself)
1. To conduct oneself in a specified manner: handled herself well in the interview.
2. To be able to defend oneself or fend for oneself: Don't worry about me. I can handle myself.

[Middle English handelen, from Old English handlian.]

han′dle·less adj.
Synonyms: handle, manipulate, wield, ply2
These verbs mean to use or operate with or as if with the hands. Handle applies widely and suggests competence: We need workers who know how to handle power tools. The therapist handled every problem with sensitivity.
Manipulate connotes skillful or artful control: Some jets are controlled by manipulating a joystick.
When manipulate refers to people or personal affairs, it often implies deviousness or fraud in gaining an end: I realized I'd been manipulated into helping them.
Wield implies freedom, skill, ease, and effectiveness in handling physical or figurative implements: The cane cutters moved through the field, wielding their machetes. The mayor's speechwriter wields a persuasive pen.
It also connotes effectiveness in the exercise of intangibles such as authority or influence: The dictator wielded enormous power.
Ply suggests industry and persistence: The rower plied his oars in a steady rhythm.
The term also applies to the regular and diligent engagement in a task or pursuit: She plies the banker's trade with great success. See Also Synonyms at touch.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.handled - having a usually specified type of handle; "pearl-handled revolver"
handleless - having no handle; "sleek cabinets with apparently handleless doors"
References in classic literature ?
But young as she was, Jo had learned that hearts, like flowers, cannot be rudely handled, but must open naturally, so though she believed she knew the cause of Beth's new pain, she only said, in her tenderest tone, "Does anything trouble you, deary?
Shimerda understand the friendly intention of our visit, and the Bohemian woman handled the loaves of bread and even smelled them, and examined the pies with lively curiosity, exclaiming, `Much good, much thank
She handled her brushes with a certain ease and freedom which came, not from long and close acquaintance with them, but from a natural aptitude.
The rich ornaments of his military attire had indeed been repeatedly handled by different individuals of the tribes with eyes expressing a savage longing to possess the baubles; but before the customary violence could be resorted to, a mandate in the authoritative voice of the large warrior, already mentioned, stayed the uplifted hand, and convinced Heyward that they were to be reserved for some object of particular moment.
I've bin kalklatin'," said Dick Mattingly, leaning on his long- handled shovel with lazy gravity, "that when I go to Rome this winter, I'll get one o' them marble sharps to chisel me a statoo o' some kind to set up on the spot where we made our big strike.
The poor fellow whom Queequeg had handled so roughly, was swept overboard; all hands were in a panic; and to attempt snatching at the boom to stay it, seemed madness.
Just so with the head; but with this difference: about the head this envelope, though not so thick, is of a boneless toughness, inestimable by any man who has not handled it.
All these industries were gathered into buildings near by, connected by galleries and railroads with the main establishment; and it was estimated that they had handled nearly a quarter of a billion of animals since the founding of the plant by the elder Durham a generation and more ago.
All our pilgrims looked on and commented -- on the expert way in which the whip was handled.
He soon convinces you that even these matters can be handled in such a way as to make a person low-spirited.
Oh, a LOT of people WE never heard of before - the shoemaker and horse-doctor and knife-grinder kind, you know - clodhoppers from goodness knows where that never handled a sword or fired a shot in their lives - but the soldiership was in them, though they never had a chance to show it.
That he should never have been able to indulge so amiable a feeling before, passed suspiciously through Emma's brain; but still, if it were a falsehood, it was a pleasant one, and pleasantly handled.